There it was again! The creature in my backyard.
I saw it at night a few weeks ago as my truck’s headlights lit it up for a split second before it vanished. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not Steve Irwin or Jack Hanna, but I wish I was Marlin Perkins because I’ve got a Wild Kingdom situation going here in the backyard.
But now I’m ready. I can see the creature and I made it to my truck to grab my camera. I'm going to try to get a photograph to figure out what this is. It scurried under a building in the yard, but quickly popped it’s head out. Click. Click. Click.
Then I take cover behind the garage like I’m in an action movie. I quietly lean around the edge of the garage with my camera to get more photos. Click click click.
The beast retreats back under the shed, so I run to the fire escape steps to get above the scene. Aerial surveillance I’ll call it. It emerges again and moves around the shed, so I get back down and run around the garage to try another angle. Click click. Success.
I don’t want to push my luck with the beast, so I decide to leave it alone. It crawled up on a cinder block almost to give me one more angle. Click click.
So I uploaded the photos into my computer and started to figure out what was in my backyard. A quick search had a few possibilities pop up. Beaver? No. Muskrat? No. Badger? Thankfully, no.
And then I spot it, the mythical beast I’ve been tracking in my backyard. I click on the picture to read what it is. It's like when the gang from Scooby Doo rips off the mask of the villain to reveal his true identity.
And my backyard villain is a ... groundhog?
Really? A groundhog? I’ve been going Crocodile Hunter on a woodchuck, a land beaver, a whistle-pig.
Well, that seems about right. I’m much more Elmer Fudd than Crocodile Dundee.
At least now I can yell, “Hey you woodchucks, stop chucking my wood!” So that's something.
Jed Carlson is the photographer for the Telegram.